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Barr's latest comments have Justice Department on edge

September 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Attorney General William Barr's provocative critique of career employees who work for him and of politics surrounding Justice Department investigations is his clearest acknowledgment of a worsening divide between President Donald Trump's attorney general and his rank-and-file.

(CNN)Attorney General William Barr's provocative critique of career employees who work for him and of politics surrounding Justice Department investigations is his clearest acknowledgment of a worsening divide between President Donald Trump's attorney general and his rank-and-file.

Jody Hunt, a former career prosecutor and who until July was a senior political appointee at the Justice Department under Barr, spoke out on Twitter in defense of career prosecutors.

Barr spent weeks honing a speech that borrowed heavily from Justice Robert Jackson, a former attorney general and Supreme Court justice during the 1940s who whose Rule of Law ideas are revered among DOJ officials.

The essence of the speech, that the US system is designed to give Barr and other political appointees the role as final decision makers over career officials, is uncontroversial.

For months, some career and even political appointees in the department abided the political overtones of the attorney general's regular interviews in conservative media because Barr is deeply supportive of law enforcement programs that are at the core of Justice Department agencies.

But after Barr embraced being the face of a heavy-handed crackdown on protesters at Lafayette Square In Washington, to make way for Trump photo-op in front of St. John's Church, reaction inside the Justice Department was shock, some senior Justice officials said.

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